Me Before You by JoJo Moyes is a heart-wrenching story about loving someone enough to let them make their own decisions–even if that decision means you’ll lose them forever.
My interaction with this story was different from the way I usually approach adaptations. I went to see the movie, which was released earlier this year, before I read the book. I usually try to avoid that, because I’m more of a book lover than a movie lover, and I think the book should be paid respect beforehand.
Personally, I find the written love story to be lacking somehow. Although I felt emotional in all the right places, I didn’t connect with the characters the way I expected to. I rooted for them, yes, but their love story didn’t have me glued to the pages.
“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life–or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against the window–is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”
Me Before You, JoJo Moyes
That being said, the novel is very well-written, and Will Trainor’s character is my favorite by far. I love when characters are witty to the point of acerbic. He’s hysterical, and I found myself laughing out loud more than once.
There are also a lot of quotes I really love within the text (like the one above). They really resonate with me, as someone in her early 20s still trying to figure out what my path is and what the world is really about.
If nothing else, this novel is good at nudging the reader to examine life from a different angle: How do we carry ourselves? How grateful are we for what we’ve been given? How do we react to people who live drastically different lives?
As for the film, like all adaptations, they left out certain details, but it didn’t detract from the story at all. Not to mention, the casting was stellar.There’s a warmth to that film that I don’t encounter with a lot of big-budget movies. It’s a must-see.